Getting the best speakers is not always about the newer the better. There are some speakers from the 70s that are still performing better than some modern speakers.
Today, speakers have moved over to digital reproduction and wireless, and smart speakers are the newest trend, but listening to stereo on an all-analog speaker has its benefits.
Digital sound reproduction has taken over, but just like a live concert, the analog sound will always have its place in modern music. More so, some people still have a strong desire for well-engineered old-school speakers.
If you’re among those who love the sight or sound from speakers from the 70s, this article presents the list of 10 best speakers from the 70s for you to choose from:
1. Wharfedale W-90
The Wharfedale W-90 is a vintage, early-to-mid-1960s floor-standing speaker. It possesses a polite sound and has a sound quality that is expressed in the best audio reproduction equipment.
This three-way speaker has a nicely defined and detailed soundstage and an excellent bass reproduction. The double-wall cabinet is made from heavy plywood clad in wood veneer, giving it a tweed and wood look like furniture.
Space in-between the two walls is filled with sand to baffle or dampen the space. This speaker also has two 6-position pots for adjusting the tweeter and midrange speakers. You can get a set of this speaker for about $100 to $300.
2. Cerwin Vega D-9
This is a powerful three-way loud party speaker associated back then with rock and roll. The horn-driven highs, heavy bass, and woofer response are dynamic and unforgettable – they are easily produced without using loads of power.
The ported cabinet is very sound efficient and will fill a medium-sized room with little effort. Like the Wharfedale W-90, this speaker has onboard level controls for adjusting the tweeter and midrange speakers and a woofer mounted on a cast aluminum frame.
The cabinet is made of vinyl-clad wood laminate and weighs about 42lb. In today’s market, you can get a Cerwin Vega D-9 in good condition for a bit under $400.
3. Dynaco A-25
This speaker is a high-performance two-way bookshelf speaker. This model was Dynaco’s most successful loudspeaker and is still sought after in today’s vintage market.
This speaker boasts of good bass response and excellent treble and midrange.
This speaker is sometimes referred to as a very musical speaker system and quite a few people will use it in combination – stacking it with floor-standing speakers for the A/B set up in a four-speaker system.
This speaker has a 10in. woofer and a 2.25in. mid-tweeter. It features an oiled walnut veneer and has a Danish-modern design. Dynaco A-25 is a good deal for a great speaker and costs between $175 and $300.
4. KLH Model 6
In the 70s, these are very popular and among the highly sought-after bookshelf-styled speakers. It is considered one of the best vintage loudspeakers ever made.
This speaker sports a two-way setup – 12in. speakers and 3in. tweeters. It is a good fit with jazz, classical, and female vocals. The woofer surrounds for this speaker are treated cloth, not foam, so they should not be a problem.
You can get this model between $99 – $250, based on sets sold.
5. AR- 3a
In 1969, this three-way speaker from Acoustic Research was the latest and greatest high-end speaker. It was hyped by AR as “the best home speaker system.” It cost about $500 back then – that’s over $3,500 in today’s economy.
The speaker is large and the cabinet is made of real walnut veneer. The grills are mostly cream-colored. It has a 12in.woofer, a dome midrange, and a ¾in. dome tweeter. There are onboard level controls at the back of the speaker to adjust high and mid-frequencies.
One major advantage of this speaker is the availability of replacement parts, which can be easily found on the web. The speaker features the sealed “acoustic suspension” bass-alignment system. This facilitates deep, clean, distortion-free bass in a smaller enclosure, saving weight and space without the loss of fidelity.
This speaker costs $500 – $1500 for a set in working condition.
6. QUAD ESL-57
This was referred to as the best speaker in the world, and other people still do today. This speaker uses a cling-film-like panel to provide exquisite upper-frequency performance. This speaker costs about £2,500.
7. JBL L100 Classic
The original JBL L100 Classic was one of the best-selling loudspeakers of their time. This speaker costs $250 each but the home version requires more space and lots of power.
This speaker utilizes JBL’s pure-pulp cone 5in. midrange drivers, 12in. bass driver, and 1in. Titanium dome tweeter in a stand-mounted loudspeaker.
This speaker delivers a lot more finesse and a warmer tone than the original and all of the accuracies of the world’s best studio monitors. Nevertheless, it requires lots of space and a powerful amplifier to function optimally.
8. Klipsch Forte III
This speaker is large, heavy, and unlikely to impress initially with its dated look. But this would change the moment you put your speaker to test and put some distance between the loudspeaker and your listening position.
Unlike other Klipsch models which can sound bright and forward sounding, the Forte III sound more restrained without sacrificing the tone, dynamics, and sense of realism that they deliver.
All genres of music work with the Forte III and with warmer sounding amplifiers and sources, they make a lot of really super expensive audiophile loudspeakers sound rather lifeless.
9. Wharfedale Linton Heritage
The original Wharfedale Linton Heritage utilized three drive units and developed a strong following with its smooth midrange, punchy low end, and sense of scale.
Though the original model disappeared from their line-up later in the 70s, it was reintroduced as the stand-mounted Linton Heritage. Wharfedale has also designed a custom stand for the Linton Heritage that puts the tweeter around 36-inch from the floor and includes room for records as well.
The modern Linton features an 8in. Kevlar cone woofer, 5in. Kevlar cone midrange driver, and 1in. soft dome tweeter. Listeners may decide to ditch the woven grille covers, but they also give the Linton that old-school look that makes them stand out.
The new Linton Heritage costs about $1,500 and offers all of the midrange resolution and natural sound of the original, but with a lot more detail, speed and transparency.
10. The KLH Six, Seventeen, and Five
All three models are vintage speakers from the 70s with KLH Six being the industry’s all-time best sellers. The KLH Six was a mid-sized 10in. two-way speaker with an excellent 1 5/8in. cone tweeter – both designed and built in-house by KLH. This speaker adapts to all kinds of music.
The KLH Seventeen was a 10in. two-way speaker but in a smaller cabinet. The KLHFive has the biggest cabinet. It was a 12in. three-way speaker with dual cone midrange drivers.
Together, these three speakers made the heart and backbone of KLHand made the company a major speaker force to reckon with.
Now you have it – 10 Best Speakers from The 70s. The list accurately presents the best vintage speakers you can think of. However, if you feel we have omitted any speaker from the 70s, kindly tell us in the comment box.